Last week on (January 10-16 2010)

Cartoons about natural disasters are a tricky thing to do. There’s hardly any potential for jokes, especially if the consequences are as horrible as in earthquake-ridden Haiti. Still, the catastophe and its aftermath are major news topics and so editorial cartoons need to be drawn. Often the results are pretty formulaic – artists try to capture the terror and destruction, sometimes feeling a need to say that there is still hope (take these three cartoons, for example). Others try to grasp the tragedy by imagining supernatural forces striking at a country that has been lying in ruins even before January 12. I like those a bit better, because the personified destruction sometimes makes for a graphical idea that sets a cartoon apart from the ritualized expressions of sympathy (here, here & here).  If I had to choose a cartoon to express my feelings on the catastrophe it would probably be this one by American artist Joel Barbee. Over the next few weeks, the focus of Haiti cartoons on will very likely change from simple shock to more complex issues of international aid and reconstruction. Rex May, also from the US, has already taken his step when he made this comment on American financial politics.

On a lighter note: is proud to announce a newly-established partnership with Hannover’s Wilhelm-Busch-Museum. Founded in 1950, the internationally renowned institution today is Germany’s largest museum for cartoons and satirical graphics. One part of the collaboration will be an exchange between the museum shop and our own webshop – meaning that art by members will be for sale in Hannover. There are several other projects – so stay with us.

Cartoons of Interest

This week’s favourite is Garrincha’s amazing portrait of Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett. His caricature of Django Reinhardt is almost equally great but the squiggly lines for Barrett’s hair made it a clear decision. Garrincha’s Tom Petty caricature is great too,  ifact most of his caricatures of noted musicians are. But there’s a limit to the weblinks I can post without making this a pain to read.

I tried to find a decent cartoon on the China VS Google issue but somehow there were none. Everything I found was about censoring Google’s results, which I think isn’t really the point. So…, dear Reader,  if  you have a new and amazing cartoon on this complex issue or if I missed one : please tell me. I’ll be glad to add it to this post.

Paul Hellmich


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